United Arab Emirates news & analysis

05 June 2017
Portugal-based, Sonae-owned Continente, as it prepares to open its first hypermarket in the UAE, has said it is investigating opportunities to expand across the Middle East. Further expansion possibilities remain The further growth opportunities were discussed as part of an interview by Sonae’s Jose Carlos Trinidade with the Portuguese newspaper Expresso. Trinidade said the retailer was ‘...
17 May 2017
SPAR International has released its 2016 results, reporting that sales increased by 4.5% to €33.1bn. The retailer, which has a presence in 44 countries, stated that record performance ‘ was driven by a combination of like-for-like organic growth, successful acquisitions and new country expansion’ . Regional performance breakdown In Western Europe , which accounts for the largest share of s...
04 May 2017
We look at five ways that online grocery retailing is developing across the Middle East, in response to the region’s young population and high smartphone usage. 1. Smart Mall grocery shopping in Dubai Metro stations The Roads and Transport authority has opened a 3D virtual shopping experience in four Dubai Metro stations. Customers use the interactive, high definition, 3D screen to select t...
27 April 2017
Pret A Manger reports strong growth in 2016, with sales up 15%. Highlights include veggie innovation and an increase in non-core missions across day parts... Another year of growth for Pret Pret's financial results for 2016 mark the 12th year of revenue and earnings growth. Pret reports total sales of £776.2m, up 15% from 2015. Like-for-like sales were up 4.8% compared to 2015, and EBITDA u...
11 April 2017
Reports suggest the HyperPanda hypermarket in Dubai Festival City will soon be closing. It is one of the largest hypermarkets(16,250 sq. m) in Dubai and has operated for 10 years. It is Panda’s only hypermarket in Dubai and, therefore, its closure will see Panda exit the market. It is said that the company may offer clearance sales soon, although they have not been officially announced yet. Ho...
06 April 2017
There is a growing demand for healthy food options in Qatar and the UAE. Customers are becoming more health conscious, with organic products receiving attention. Growing demand Qatar’s government has recently focused on healthy living, spotlighting its benefits to local shoppers. This has led to an increased awareness among Qataris and expats of organic products. Lulu has seen a developing...
28 March 2017
After a period of speculation, Amazon has reached an agreement to acquire UAE-based, pure ecommerce retailer Souq.com. Souq.com is the largest online retailers in the Middle East by revenues with country operations in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Acquisition to close in 2017 No financial details were released about how much Amazon paid for Souq, which generates more than 45m visits per mont...
24 January 2017
Saudi Arabia-based Panda Retail Company, part of the Savola Group, has announced fourth quarter and full year results, saying store expansion had offset a contraction in like-for-like sales. 2016 results in line with 2015's Panda generated revenue of SAR13.5 bn (US$3.6 bn) in 2016. The retailer noted that 18 new stores, which had increased its average selling space by 1%, had helped underpi...
24 January 2017
As UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim, the franchisee of the Carrefour brand in the Middle East, announces a raft of new initiatives, including investment in its supply chain and expansion plans in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, we round up news from the retailer. Signs MoU with Dubai SME to bolster competitiveness Majid Al Futtaim has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai SME, the Department...
24 January 2017
As online competition rises in Iran, Spinneys, Al Meera, Fathima Group and LuLu expand, we round up news from the region. Iran sees launch of online supermarket HyperKa.com has been launched in Iran, marking a further expansion of online supermarket options in the country. The site links shoppers with local supermarkets and, therefore, will not have any stock itself. Payment can be made thro...